Handy outdoor power tools make quick work of tackling overgrown weeds and grass, giving the yard a neat, tidy look, and trimming hedges and shrubs. For ensuring a polished look to your lawn, a string trimmer is a great investment.
Opposed to gas-powered string trimmers. new and improved battery-powered string trimmers don’t require mixing fuel or storing gasoline, and are not limited by the length of an extension cord.
To qualify as a top pick, a string trimmer should be durable, powerful, and easy to operate. The string line should exit the reel easily with no need to constantly remove the reel cover and untangle the line.
The following five best battery-powered string trimmers are at the top of their class, and if you’re looking to invest in a new trimmer, one is sure to fit your landscaping needs.
- BEST OVERALL: EGO Power+ Cordless String Trimmer Kit
- BEST BUDGET: BLACK+DECKER Cordless String Trimmer
- UPGRADE PICK: Makita XRU15Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Trimmer
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: BLACK+DECKER 20V Max String Trimmer/Edger
- BEST FOR SMALL YARDS: WORX GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12″ Cordless Trimmer
- BEST FOR LARGE YARDS: Makita XRU15PT1 Lithium-Ion Cordless Trimmer
- BEST TRIMMER/EDGER COMBO: WORX WG170 GT Revolution 20V String Trimmer
- MOST VERSATILE: Greenworks 80V Cordless String Trimmer
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Battery Trimmer
When shopping for a string trimmer, keep in mind yard size, how often you’ll be using the tool, and who will be doing the actual trimming. The following key considerations will help you choose the right model for your needs.
Trim width, also called “swath width,” indicates how wide a path the trimmer will cut through weeds in a single pass. Many models on the market today feature swath widths of 10 to 18 inches. The wider the width, the more power the trimmer must-have, which often means the trimmer will be heavier because it will require a larger, more powerful battery.
Running a string trimmer requires a hefty dose of power, and most of today’s trimmers run on rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-on) batteries, but a few accept nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Li-on batteries are more powerful but NiCad batteries are less expensive (an average of $70 to $125 less). Li-on batteries also are smaller and hold a charge longer.
NiCad batteries suffer from “memory effect,” meaning if the battery is used before it has fully charged—or if it’s recharged before its power depletes—it will remember the charge levels and won’t hold a longer charge in the future. If you opt for a trimmer that has a NiCad battery, you’ll get the best results if you let it charge fully before use and drain completely before charging. For most users, a string trimmer with a Li-on battery will be the best choice.
Along with battery type, consider how much operating power the battery has, which is measured in volts. Today’s rechargeable string trimmer batteries average from 18 volts up to 60 volts of power. More powerful batteries at the high end often are intended for commercial use and can cost $200 or more per battery.
The string trimmers in this category often sell without a battery (or battery charger), which the user must purchase separately. Batteries at the lower end are sufficient for powering many string trimmers and one or two batteries often come with the purchase of a trimmer.
The “feed” of a string trimmer indicates how the tool releases an additional trimming line as it becomes frayed and broken during use. The standby is a bump feed where the user bumps the bottom of the trimmer—the area where the spool attaches—on the ground to release a few inches of line.
Some newer models feature an auto-feed sensor that gauges the length of the strings and releases more when needed. Still, others feature a push button that releases more line. Auto and button feeds eliminate the need to bump the spool, which can reduce the risk of damage if bumped too hard, but many commercial-type trimmers still use bump feed because it’s quick and easy.
Curved vs. Straight Shaft
Some string trimmers feature a straight shaft that runs from the head of the trimmer to the end while other models feature a distinct curve in the shaft about two-thirds of the way down. Curved-shaft trimmers often are easier to operate since the spool end already rests at a handy angle for weed whacking.
Straight shaft trimmers often accommodate interchangeable tools, such as a tree trimmer head, which can be swapped out depending on what you’ll be trimming. In general, straight shaft trimmers work better for users at least 6-feet tall, while shorter users will appreciate curved shaft trimmers.
Battery-powered string trimmers have a distinct advantage over gas-powered trimmers when it comes to noise pollution. Gas-powered trimmers are moderately loud, emitting an average of 90 decibels—or about the same loudness that a motorcycle makes when it passes by at a distance of 25 feet. By contrast, a cordless string trimmer emits approximately 77 decibels, which is comparable to the loudness of living room music.
Warranty terms vary from one string trimmer to another, ranging from two to five years, and are often limited to tool failure. If a user drops the trimmer and breaks it, the warranty won’t cover the damage. Some retailers offer extended warranties for an additional fee.
Our Top Picks
You can quickly whisk away a lot of overgrown grass and weeds with the oversized, 15-inch cutting swath of the EGO Power+ Cordless String Trimmer Kit. The trimmer features rapid-reload bump feed advancement and operates on a powerful, rechargeable 5.0Ah ARC lithium-Ion battery. Both the battery and the charger come with the trimmer. The user controls the trimmer speed with pressure on the trigger.
The EGO Power+ features the EGO Power Multi-Head system that’s interchangeable with other EGO power tools, including a pole saw extension and an edger (both sold separately). The 12-pound EGO string trimmer comes preloaded with professional dual-twist trimming line, and for the best trimming results, users should refill with the same line.
- Battery Type: 5.0Ah ARC lithium-ion
- Runtime: 1 hour
- Weight: 12 pounds
- 15-inch cutting swath
- Rapid-reload bump feed advancement
- Dual-twist trimming line included
- Charger and battery included
- Pole extension and edger sold separately
Give your yard a polished look without breaking the bank. The Black+Decker Cordless String Trimmer has all it takes to chew through tall grass and weeds at an affordable price point. It features a 12-inch cutting swath and an automatic feed spool so there’s no reason to stop and bump the tool.
The purchase includes two, 20-volt, lithium-ion batteries plus a charger. At a light weight of just 4.5 pounds, this trimmer is easy for most homeowners to handle without experiencing arm and shoulder fatigue. Plus, with a quick adjustment to the head, the trimmer becomes an edger for neatly trimming along sidewalks and driveways. A trigger controls the speed.
- Battery Type: 2 20-volt lithium ion batteries
- Runtime: 1 hour
- Weight: 4.5 pounds
- 12-inch cutting swath
- Automatic feed spool
- Dual use; trimmer and edger
- Trimmer line and charger sold separately
This Makita string trimmer is a premium option to keep the lawn and garden under control, and it can handle small to large yards with enough power to tackle dense weed growth. The cordless string trimmer is a step above the rest with dual-battery capabilities that extend the run time to about 1.5 hours so the user doesn’t need to worry about running out of power before the job is done.
The trimmer has a 15-inch trimming radius and a dual-string cutting head with a bump-feed system for quick trimmer string feeding that doesn’t interrupt the work. It operates at three speed settings, ranging from low to high, and weighs 11 pounds.
This string trimmer is offered as a stand-alone tool, bundled with a battery, in a kit with two batteries and two chargers, or fully equipped with two chargers, four batteries, and the trimmer.
- Battery Type: Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah Battery
- Runtime: 1.5 hours
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Larger, 15-inch cutting swath
- Extendable run time
- Three speed settings
- Heavier for an electric model
Weighing just 6.3 pounds, this lightweight string trimmer is easy to carry, maneuver, and control with an adjustable handle and a safety trigger switch to prevent the trimmer from accidentally starting up. The 12-inch trimming radius is small but suitable for keeping the lawn properly maintained without damaging fencing, decks, trees, or other common yard obstacles.
This cordless string trimmer operates with a 20-volt battery that can last for up to 45 minutes before it needs to be recharged. It also comes with a spare battery, so one can always be on the charger in case it’s needed for longer jobs. If edging needs to be done, just turn the head of the trimmer and use the built-in wheel to balance as the trimmer string handles the edging.
- Battery Type: 2 20V Lithium Ion Batteries
- Runtime: 45 minutes
- Weight: 6.3 pounds
- Light and easy to carry
- Customizable to the size of user
- Doubles as an edger
Those who only need to worry about maintaining a small yard may find this lightweight string trimmer an excellent option. It weighs just 6 pounds and can convert from a trimmer to an edging tool. The trimmer also has a built-in wheel to help balance the tool while edging. It comes with two 20-volt batteries and a battery charger, enabling users to keep one battery on the charger while the other is in use.
A push-button feed system gives the user the ability to extend the trimmer string without having to resort to bumping the 12-inch trimmer head or manually pulling additional string from the trimmer. The battery lasts for up to 30 minutes on a full charge, giving the user lots of time to tackle edging and trimming for a small yard.
- Battery Type: 20V Power Share MaxLithium batteries
- Runtime: 20-30 minutes
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Dual usage; trimmer and edger
- Push button Command Feed spool system
- Comes with leaf blower
- Head tilts to 90°
Large yards call for long-lasting power, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with the Makita Cordless String Trimmer with 4 Batteries. From a name that’s synonymous with quality power tools, the Makita trimmer runs on two, 18-volt lithium-ion batteries at once, and comes with a total of four batteries so you can switch batteries when the first two run down.
The trimmer has two speeds to match the type and thickness of grass or weeds you’re trimming. The Makita trimmer features a bump-and-feed line and comes with a reverse rotation function so the
user can reverse the direction of the head if the line tangles in weeds.
This high-power trimmer will chew through unwanted weeds and grass in short order, making it a good choice for large yards, but this isn’t a tool for the faint of heart. The Makita string trimmer weighs a beefy 22 pounds and requires some arm muscle.
- Battery Type: 18V LXT 5. 0Ah batteries
- Runtime: 1-1/2 hours
- Weight: 10 pounds (with battery)
- Direct-drive system
- 3 RPM settings included
- L.E.D. battery charge level indicator
- Charger not included
The head on the WORX WG170 GT 20V Trimmer and Edger tilts up to 90 degrees, making it easy to reach weeds on slopes while standing comfortably. It cuts a 12-inch swath and operates on a 20V, lithium-ion battery.
Buyers get two batteries plus a charger with the trimmer. At the push of a button, the trimming head converts to an edger that rolls easily along the edge of a sidewalk or driveway.
The batteries are interchangeable with other WORX 20V cordless tools, including the WORX 20V drill and leaf blower. The string trimmer comes with a handy spacer guard that keeps it from bumping into plants and the shaft adjusts to suit taller or shorter users.
- Battery Type: 20V Lithium-Ion Battery
- Runtime: 45 minutes
- Weight: 5 pounds
- 7 handle adjustments
- 6 rotating head settings
- Comes with 2 batteries
- Requires long charging times
The Greenworks 80V Cordless String Trimmer Powerhead comes with a string trimmer attachment, and adapts for lots of other functions with attachments, including a brush cutter.
The 2 Ah battery provides up to 45 minutes of run time. The brushless electric motor is efficient and quiet, providing plenty of torque to cut through the same heavy weeds as its gas-powered counterparts without the noise and smell.
Users should take some care with this powerhead’s lithium-ion batteries. The batteries should be stored at about 50 percent of charge. This brush cutter is best for smaller properties due to limited run time and the need for recharging or with purchase of a second battery for extended use.
- Battery Type: 2Ah Lithium Ion Battery
- Runtime: 45 minutes
- Weight: 13 pounds
- Brushless motor
- Comes with multiple attachments
- Temperamental batteries
- Made for limited yard space
Selected for its powerful 5.0Ah ARC lithium-ion battery, lightweight construction, and large cutting swath, the EGO Power+ if our first pick for the best battery trimmer. Made for the toughest of unruly yards, this trimmer comes with a rapid-reload bump feed advancement and a dual-twist trimming line to tackle edging and weed whacking easily.
Alternatively, the Black+Decker option comes with a smaller price point for quick yard polishing. Coming with 2 20V lithium ion batteries, this 4.5-pound unit comes with a small cutting swath
and dual action with a trimmer and edger included for light maintenance and polishing in small yards and gardens.
How We Chose the Best Battery Trimmers
The right battery trimmer can help with edging, trimming, and weed whacking for a cleaner yard. Selections for the best trimmer depended upon battery power, runtime, swath reach, portability, and versatility.
Many of the above picks come with powerful lithium ion batteries for long runtimes of 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Some above picks also come with multiple batteries and a charger included for convenience. Plus, the above selections also include multiple accessories and attachments for edging and weed whacking.
What’s more, each pick comes with an ideal swath head and lightweight designs for easier maneuvering and ample coverage. For additional convenience, some of our top picks also have adjustable handles and tilt heads, brushless motors, and the option of swapping out the head type for specific tasks.
If you’re still unsure about how to use a battery string trimmer, the following answers about these tools may help.
Q: Can a string trimmer cut weeds?
A string trimmer is used to cut and control weed growth around the home and garden. However, light-duty trimmers may have issues with very dense weed growth.
Q: Can you use a string trimmer to cut grass?
A string trimmer can be used to cut grass, though you need to be careful not to cut the grass too short while trying to keep the trimmer balanced. It isn’t the easiest way to cut the grass, but it is possible.
Q: Can you edge with a string trimmer?
Yes, a string trimmer can be used for edging the garden, driveway, walkway, or sidewalk. If you have a large yard, it may be better to invest in a separate edging tool.
Q: How many volts should be in a trimmer?
String trimmer batteries average from 18 volts up to 80 volts. Typically, the higher the voltage, the longer the battery life.
Q: How do you edge a lawn with a string trimmer?
Hold the string trimmer perpendicular to the lawn to keep the cut even. Position the head about 4 inches off the soil so the string has space to rotate. The string should rotate and cut through the grass and dirt. As you move along the desired borders, keep the head balanced and even. Clean up the cut grass and dirt to finish the job.